Online Psychoeducation for Sexual Dysfunction in Cancer Survivors
Experiencing a diagnosis of cancer may dramatically alter the way a person feels about
themselves, their body, and their significant relationships at sexual and intimate levels1.
Cancer and its treatments affect the physiological, psychological, and sociological realms
of a survivor's life and his/her ability to experience sexual health. Sexual health is
recognized as an integral aspect of quality of life (QOL) during cancer and is increasingly
receiving research and clinical attention. Sexual changes following the treatment of
gynaecologic (i.e.: ovarian, endometrial, cervical) and colorectal cancers are common though
often not discussed. Moreover, cancer survivors express dissatisfaction that sexual
concerns, and treatment of them, are not discussed in the context of their cancer care.
Oncologists frequently are faced with patients inquiring about sexual changes with cancer
treatment, but are usually not equipped with accurate and comprehensive data on the precise
sexual symptoms to expect or where to refer patients with sexual concerns.
The aims of the study are to assess the efficacy of a 12-module online psychoeducational
intervention for sexual health (OPES) on (1) the primary endpoint of sexual distress in male
and female cancer survivors with sexual problems; (2) the secondary sexuality-related
endpoints of sexual desire, arousal (women) or erection (men), orgasm, and sexual pain; (3)
on mood, relationship satisfaction, and quality of life; and (4) to assess gender
differences in the proportion of survivors improved on sexual distress.
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
measured by self report questionnaires
Questionnaires administered 1 week pre-treatment, 1 week post treatment and six months post treatment
Lori Brotto, PhD
University of British Columbia
Canada: Health Canada